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Cablegate: Biographic Information On New Sierra Leonean

VZCZCXYZ0006
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHFN #0689/01 3231717
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 191717Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY FREETOWN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1530
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0265

UNCLAS FREETOWN 000689

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR AF/W AND INR/B

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL SL
SUBJECT: BIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION ON NEW SIERRA LEONEAN
CABINET - PART ONE

1. The initial group of cabinet Ministers in the new
government has been announced by President Koroma. The
process of confirmation by parliament has been completed for
most nominees. Three Ministers were confirmed on October 19,
and 12 more confirmed on October 24. Biographic information
for 15 Ministers follows. A total of 20 Ministerial
appointments is expected. In addition there will be three
Regional Ministers appointed. Septel will follow with
additional information as new nominations are made.

2. Minister of Foreign Affairs - Zainab Hawa Bangura.
One of three women in the new Cabinet, Mrs. Bangura served as
head of Civil Affairs in UNMIL in Monrovia, Liberia before
being named Minister. A candidate for President in the 2002
elections, she is a civil society activist. She was
co-founder and coordinator of the Campaign for Good
Governance (CGG) and later headed the National Accountability
Group. Private sector experience in the insurance industry
from 1983 until 1996 brought her into contact with Ernest Bai
Koroma. A graduate of Fourah Bay College, University of
Sierra Leone, she also holds diplomas in insurance studies
and insurance management from UK Universities. Fellow of the
Chartered Insurance Institute UK. Her awards from U.S.
organizations include a 2006 Democracy Award from the
National Endowment for Democracy, the Bayard Rustin
Humanitarian award (2001) and the Human Rights Award from the
Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (2000). She is married
with one son.

3. Minister of Finance - David Omosholoa Carew
An accountant, he was Managing Partner at the accounting and
consulting firm of KPMG in Sierra Leone before being named
Minister. He holds a B.Sc. in Economics from the University
of Sierra Leone. Qualified as a Chartered Accountant in
1982, he worked with KPMG for 28 years. He is in his early
fifties, married, with two children.

4. Minister of Defence and National Security - Retired Major
Alfred Palo Conteh
The nephew and former Military Aide to the late APC President
Joseph Saidu Momoh. He entered the army as a cadet in 1976
and was forced to retire from the Army in 1992 by the NPRC.
After entering the army, he studied at the Egyptian War
Academy as a cadet, and later served in the military police.
In 1986 he went to the United Kingdom to study law,
graduating from the University of London with an LLB in 1990.
He was admitted to the bar of England and Wales, and in 2006
received the LLM degree. He was chair of the APC party
branch in the UK from 1993 to 2001. He was born in
Wilberforce, Freetown. (Note: Currently, the President is the
Minister of Defence and Major Conteh is Deputy Minister.
However, President Koroma has indicated that he intends to
relinquish the Minster of Defence role.)

5. Minister of Justice and Attorney General - Abdul
Serry-Kamal
A lawyer, Mr. Serry-Kamal was elected to Parliament for a
constituency in the Bombali District. A by-election will have
to be held for his parliamentary seat. His legal specialty is
conveyancing.

6. Minister of Health and Sanitation - Dr. Saccoh Kabia
A physician who has worked for more than 30 years in Atlanta,
Georgia. His specialty is nephrology. He has permanent
resident status in the U.S. He is one of the PMDC members of
the Cabinet. His mother was Paramount Chief Ella Koblo
Gulama, the first woman to be elected to Parliament in Sierra
Leone.

7. Minister of Energy and Power - Haja Afsatu Kabbah
Served as an APC member of Parliament from 2002 to 2007. She
served as Deputy Minister of Power and Energy from 1996-1998
as a member of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in the
coalition with SLPP. Mrs. Kabbah was a candidate for the
vice-presidential position on her party's ticket in 2007, and
she later acted as vice-chairperson of the transition team.
She is described as a Northern with Western Area links and a
devout Muslim. She is married.

8. Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children's Affairs
- Musu Kandeh
She served as a Member of Parliament from 2002-2007 as a
member of the APC. She previously was the Principal of a
Girls' Secondary School in Mathora, in the north of Sierra
Leone. Local newspapers described her as a gender equality
activist.

9. Minister of Transport and Aviation - Kemoh Sesay
Member of Parliament for Port Loko district since 1996. He
was re-elected to Parliament in 2007 and is one of four MPs

who have been nominated for Cabinet positions by the
President. Mr. Sesay was acting as shadow transport minister
for the APC in the 2002-2007 parliament. Local newspapers
report that he has been involved in a long standing court
case for allegedly faking documents to obtain a Sierra Leone
passport for a female acquaintance.

10. Minister of Trade and Industry - Alimamy Philip Koroma
Koroma was elected member of Parliament for Mambolo
constituency in Kambia district in the 2007 election, but he
will resign his seat in order to take the job as Minister. He
rose to prominence as Secretary General of the Council of
Churches in Sierra Leone. He was involved in organizing
church donations during the civil war. At one point served
as National Organizing Secretary for the APC. Accused of
physical assault on his SLPP rival, Marray Conteh, during the
election campaign. He also is reported to have manhandled the
Paramount Chief.

11. Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs - Hindolo
Sumanguru Trye
A student activist in the Siaka Stevens era, he lived in the
U.S. for some time. In April 1992 he returned to Sierra Leone
when the NPRC overthrew the civilian government. He served as
Minister of Information in the NPRC government. He also
served as an adviser to the AFRC government. He joined the
APC in 2006.

12. Minister of Information and Communications - Alhaji
Ibrahim Ben Kargbo
Before being appointed Minister, Mr. Kargbo was President of
the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists and proprietor of
the New Citizen Newspaper. He has worked as a journalist,
newspaper editor, broadcaster, teacher and school principal.
He was a Member of Parliament during the government of
President Momoh. He was sentenced to death, and later
pardoned, for collaborating with the Armed Forces Ruling
Council (AFRC). He received his B.A.Ed. from Fourah Bay
College, University of Sierra Leone. He has won several
national awards including the Presidential award of Grand
Officer of the Order of the Rokel.

13. Minister of Lands, Country Planning and Environment -
Capt. Benjamin O.N. Davies
Holder of a Master Mariner Certificate, Captain Davies worked
with the Ocean Fleet/Nigerian National Shipping Lines from
1974 to 1987. He later was Regional Manager for Maersk Sea
Land in Freetown. He has experience in terminal operations,
port management, marine administration and international
trade and logistics. Since 2002 he has worked with a private
home care provider, Southeastern Healthcare Services in the
U.S.

14. Minister of Mineral Resources - Alhaji Abubakar Jalloh
A geo-physicist and running mate of Ernest Bai Koroma in the
2002 elections. He served as Director of Lands Resources and
Survey at the Ministry of Agriculture. He also worked as
executive director of the National Diamond Mining Company
(NDMC). He was a student in the UK. He taught in the U.S. at
the University of the District of Columbia and also at
Douglas College, Baltimore Maryland, where he served as chair
of Mathematics and Sciences. He holds Masters degrees in
Geophysics, Atmospheric Physics and Hydrogeology.

15. Minister of Agriculture - Dr. Joseph Sam Sesay
In common with the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, he worked
for UNMIL in Monrovia, as a Civil Affairs Officer before
being named minister. Secretary of State for Agriculture in
the transitory administration of Brigadier Julius Maada Bio,
he holds a PhD in Agriculture and Developmental Economics.

16. Minister of Employment and Social Security - Minkailu
Mansaray
Elected as a member of Parliament in the 2007 election, he
resigned his seat in Parliament in October, 2007 to take the
Ministerial position.

PERRY

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